My mare came in quite gimpy today on right front. Not three legged, but not fun to watch. She will put weight on the leg, stand on it, and even rest a hind. Hoof testers showed nothing. Not flinchy when I palpated her while poulticing.
There is some swelling around the digital flexor tendon area (lower, back canon), about fetlock height up to about 6 inches high. When looking at the leg from the front, the swelling is not visible, only from the back. The fetlock and pastern were normal. No heat.
She has a solid head bob down when RF is down at the walk and trot. Struggled to turn around left in the wash stall to get cold hosed. I poulticed and wrapped her up for the night. She got 2 grams of bute and lives outside, so will be on it for the night, but it super laid back so I am not worried about her being stupid on it. She was more gimpy after standing on it for a while verses just walking.
Does this sound like a tendon injury? I was thinking there should be heat and much more swelling if it was considering how gimpy she is.
Calling the vet after seeing her tomorrow to talk about the issue.
It does sound as though it may be tendonitis but it is best to confirm with an ultrasound.
It does sound like tendon- My gelding just did the exact same thing on RF- your description is same also. I actually witnessed his in the pasture when I was free lunging and he took a mistep.
Be prepared for more swelling in the next few days or maybe for a week. Then it settles down a little. It's been 2 weeks and almost all the swelling is gone and he's moving around a little more.
My boy is a real wimp and when he gets hurt, he mopes around so no worry of re-injury but I left him out 24/7 also.
That does sound like a tendon issue (or possibly suspensory if she is less sound with the affected leg to the outside of a lungeline circle), but I will note that if her head bobs down when the right front is on the ground, that would indicate a problem with the LEFT front, not the right front. The rule is "sound on the down." A horse's head actually comes UP when the unsound leg is on the ground, and goes DOWN when the unsound leg is unloaded and the sound(er) front leg is on the ground bearing the load.
Update for today:
Much much more sound today. Hardly any head bob. Swelling was down, but more heat today than yesterday. I poulticed her again tonight, and hoping for more improvement!
FineAlready: Yes, you are right about the "Sound is down," my mix up typing!